In Japan, Hamster Asses Are Cute. Cute my ass, hamsters are homicidal rodents.

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Next time, you’re fawning over a cute hamster butt, look closely and you may notice the blood stained hairs that are probably the trace evidence of their cannibalized lover or children after passing through their digestive system into a smelly pile of hamster shit.
Cute, my ass!







Gudetama: The Lazy Egg That Japan Loves

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Strange characters are not something new to Japan. Sanrio’s anthropomorphic egg, affectionately named “Gudetama” which literally translates to ‘Lazy Egg’ in English is no exception.







The Deadly Chokehold of the Japanese Family

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The Japanese family is in trouble. But then again, that’s nothing new. Traditionally speaking, family ties are the most sacred of Japanese relationships. But I’m not so sure, it seems like a lot of Japanese —  especially parents — have historically and consistently treated their offspring like shit. Time and again, they’ve shown how family means […]




“The Only Woman in the Room”/ How The Amazing Beate Wrote Equal Rights For Women Into Japan’s Constitution

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Is Japan’s peacetime constitution going to be trashed by the ruling party and returned back to the Imperial Constitution, which did not give suffrage or equal rights to women?
This question will be on the mind and haunt your waking hours after reading “The Only Woman in the Room” by Beate Sirota Gordon. In this memoir, she takes us through the various events in her life made remarkable by the fact that in late 1945, she became a member on the US Occupation team that drew up Japan’s National Constitution. Not only was she the only woman in the room, she was just 22 years old.







I’m not the Jake Adelstein you’re looking for.

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Jake shows me his phone, sharing a photo he claims is worth a billion dollars. It’s a yet to be released shot of a crime family boss with the president of Japan University, who’s also the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The implications for corruption are obvious. “I’m publishing a story on this. The reporter who originally had this was beaten severely.” It was my idea that we meet and get dinner in the first place so I naturally offered to treat when we first corresponded. When the waitress brings a to go bag with dishes never intended to be eaten during dinner I can only laugh to myself… journalism never has, and maybe never will pay, but I’m more than happy to subsidize the honest work of a damn good investigative journalist.

Jake clearly feeds off the danger. Sure enough the piece was published days later. I get a strange feeling, not that I’m a clairvoyant, but just sometime tells me that Jake is pushing his luck. He insists that he knows what he’s doing. But that’s what I’m afraid of.







Japan’s MOFA threatens ISIS with “strong indignation” if (hypothetical) hostages executed

The Ministry of Foreign Affair officially explains the hypothetical seeming hostage situation which is if true and threat carried out, will result in strong indignation!










What makes Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement particulary surreal and disingenuous is that MOFA and the Japanese government have known that Kenji Goto was being held for a ransom of 10 million dollars since November of last year.







Former Asahi journalist defends his reporting on comfort women; sues Japanese publisher for defamation & resulting threats

Former Asahi reporter Takashi Uemura faces death threats for his reporting on the comfort women issue. He is suing a publication for defamation after they accused him of fabricating his reports.





A former journalist who used to report at the nation desk (社会部)of the Asahi newspaper about comfort women, or women forced into sex slavery by the Japanese military during WWII, filed charges for defamation of character on Friday at the Tokyo District Court against a Japanese publisher and a Tokyo Christian University Professor, who labeled […]




Reposted: The high price of writing about anti-social forces–and those who pay. 猪狩先生を弔う日々

Is writing a book exposing the corruption in your society worth risking your life? For Toshiro Igari, it was.










Igari-san wasn’t an investigative journalist and he wasn’t a saint. But he fought for justice and for truth, and as an investigative journalist, I’ve always believed that’s what our job entailed. Forgive me if that sounds naive. I believe that, if no one stands up to the anti-social forces in the world, then we all lose.







Book Review: “Why the Japanese Are Beautiful” (日本人はなぜ美しいのか) by Kaori Shoji

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Still, Masuno’s book is hugely inspiring, if only because it makes us realize the seeds of beauty are within. All we have to do is become aware of it, and from that moment something will have changed. It may be an inflection in the voice, or a change in the way one holds an umbrella, or yes – even the way one stands in the Yamanote line. Zen is the one method that beautifies the physique, as well as the way one perceives the world, free of charge.







Book Review: “The Bad-Mood Marriage” 不機嫌な主婦 なぜ女たちは「本能」を忘れたのか(朝日新書)

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By Kaori Shoji As long as time immemorial, being a woman in Japan meant the rawest of deals. The long, long tradition of top-down patriarchy held that women were good for of either two things: sexual slavery or household drudgery. Once a woman got past her reproductive years, she was expected to control the younger […]